Saturday, August 31, 2013

Maximum Privacy on Facebook

Don't board up your digital homes on Google or Facebook! Even though Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School told that consumers had a "responsibility" to leave social networks found out to be collaborating secretly with intelligence services such as the US National Security Agency: that's a little bit over the top, and I have more sensible solutions.

I've been warning you about computers and privacy for a long time. Here is what I recommend.

(1) Do what I do -  stay OFF THE "CLOUD" - you need to disconnect from the idea of using files and softwares that are stored somewhere on the internet. All of your important files and useful programs should be on your laptop or pc in NON-updatable versions or forms - if you can turn off "automatic updates" for any and all programs you may have, you will be better off.

(2) Turn the internet 'on' and 'off' - learn to work offline as much as possible. The shorter the time you are on the net, the better for your own safety and security.

(3) Lower your profiles on Google and Facebook. Do not share or post any controversial, intimate or private information or photographs you wouldn't want teachers, parents, employers or officials to see.

Here's a screenshot of how some of your facebook settings should appear... if they don't, fix 'em... NOW!

I've been Google Plus for awhile now, but admit I treat it the way I did twitter when I first signed up: not much in the way of participation or interaction from me. I can't say if it will always be that way. I can tell you that I will read and research every bit of new advice that surfaces regarding privacy and G+.

Wired published a nifty tutorial about how to control which apps your facebook friends can see that you use, as well as what information your friends can access about you through their apps.

Wired's BEST chunk of facebook advice ::: "Most of us don’t want strangers peering through our Facebook history. So for the next setting, unless you’re 100 percent confident your Facebook profile is squeaky clean, switch “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” to OFF."

In his interview with, Wu describes several historical examples of technologies having been used as tools of oppression or societal control, such as enforced propaganda radio broadcasts by the Nazi regime. He also comments that he feels web users ought to have a "visceral" sense of ownership over their online data. He's almost right. Users should only allow data online that MUST be there. Nothing more. No pictures of the wild party, no nonsense...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Coin Toss

Some good news for those who advocate Bitcoin as a means of digital currency - the entity seemingly got a nod of approval from the federales. And for those of you who might feel left out of the Bitcoin rush, now that the digital currency is becoming scarce and quite expensive, there is an alternative.

The Daily Caller ::: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which fights money laundering, invited the Bitcoin Foundation to discuss how the digital currency works and how federal regulators can best ensure it is not abused by criminals or narco-terrorists.

Marco Santori, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, was heartened by the agencies’ response. “We thought it went extremely well,” Santori told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We were encouraged by the invitation, and there was really just a tremendous turnout.”

On the flipside, Steve Faktor opines on Forbes that "Bitcoin Is The MySpace Of Money"... he offers 10 reasons why and what might save the currency from falling off a digital fiscal cliff.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Memories of My Search Engine Rankings

Marketeers are all asquawk over the August 6th Google update. That update was actually a good one for my blog. However, I would like to share with you one precious piece of advice:

Electric Avenue Eddy Grant Official Music Video

For the last several weeks, ever since it was used as bumper music on a segement of The Daily Buzz, "Electric Avenue" has been playing over and over and over again, stuck in my brain, a parasitic tune worm.

So how to extract this musical symbiote? Someone told me to listen to this:

Sadly I report that in the end, I couldn't find anything musically invasive enough to dislodge Mr. Grant's song.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

When The Blog Is Finished

"Twitter has become an uncensored global news service the like of which we have never seen." ~ Paul Mason
What if you woke up one morning and your blog had disappeared? And when you went to check twitter, it was gone. And instead of Facebook there was a 404 error screen.

What is the shelf-life of an online service? I saw today on teevee where Yahoo received 196.6 million unique visitors last month, compared to 192.3 million for Google, beating Google in traffic for first time since 2011. Yahoo's picking up Tumblr a likely factor.

The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives.

A Timeline of the History of Blogging

While the term "blog" was not coined until the late 1990s, the history of blogging began with digital communities including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, BiX and the early CompuServe, e-mail listservs and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software, such as WebEx, created running conversations with "threads".

Then came the avalanche of bloggers - the folks who wrote the journals. And Blogger [blog*spot] - the platform of expression owned for several years now by Google. I am always wondering if when Google will pull the plug on blogger. The service's most popular blogebrity has been Wendy Cheng, whom I have followed for years and mentioned many many times on my blogspot blogs.

In a recent post on my WordPress blog, I referenced early blogging.

I have been trying to save my still-existing blogspot files. Over 6-THOUSAND - yes - 6,000 posts! Imagine that! And that's not counting the ones that vanished when Google deleted without warning my original Capital Region People blog! They could do it to anyone - and have!

Somewhat related ::: Check out how your blog or website is doing with this free online tool.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saratoga Race Course to Host Summer’s Coolest Competition: Annual Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest!

WHAT:          Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest

WHEN:          Wednesday, August 21
                        Noon                                          Registration
                        Approx. 2:10 p.m.                    Competition begins
WHERE:       Saratoga Race Course 
            Event tent located inside Reserved Seats Entrance near the Carousel

DETAILS:     The coolest way to beat the summer heat, the annual Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest will return to Saratoga Race Course.

                        Contestants will be divided into three age groups – kids, teens and adults - as they compete to finish a pint of ice cream the fastest. The winner in each category will receive gift certificates for free ice cream courtesy of Stewart’s Shops.

                        Registration begins at noon at the event tent located inside the Reserved Seats Entrance near the Carousel. The competition will unfold after the conclusion of the day’s third race.

                        Judges for the annual competition will be John Gray of NewsCenter 10 and FOX 23 News; Chad O’Hara of B95.5 FM; and Yolanda Vega of the New York Lottery.

The Stewart’s Ice Cream Eating Contest is one of a number of activities leading up to the 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 24.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Share content, not spam: Don't lose twitter followers!

This morning I ran across an interesting headline and link tweeted by @dragonblogger. It turned out to be a trap. Marketing spam. The twitter tease suggested the article would be a good read. I was at a bodega having breakfast, checking emails and monitoring tweets on my BlackBerry.

Upon clicking the tweeted link, I was presented with a subscribe page overlaying the interesting article. It was rigged so clicking the X did nothing.

I am certain @dragonblogger would not deliberately tweet out a link like that. He himself may have been a victim of programmed twitter spam. It happens this way: you see a neat article and want to share it with others. You hit the twitterbird icon and your tweet is dispatched. But hidden in the URL is a code that triggers a screen overlay, commanding your followers to enter their email address or otherwise subscribe to something you may not want to. A good way to lose followers!

THE SOLUTION::: Take FULL control! Instead of tweeting a link, use the material there to compose a summary or synopsis of your own! Put it on your blog or websitge or facebook page! Now you will have "original content" and you don't need to link to another site that may end up damaging your PR, Panda and Penguin, not to mention your blog or website position on Google!
Sent from my BlackBerry® powered by Virgin Mobile.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

YouTube Hearing Test : How Old Are YOUR Ears?

AsapScience presents "How old are your ears?" ::: a series of tones at increasing frequencies gives you the average age group that can hear them. Make sure you have a decent set of headphones - preferably high-end like SONY or the more expensive Radio Shack models. Find out what you can hear and what you are missing!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Make Money Blogging

Most people who read blogs have no prior interest in spending money on them. I am sorry to be so blunt. That's why those "tip jars" for the most part have vanished. I still provide donation links on my blogs, but truthfully, over some 5+ years, I think I received one gift of $5. Just one. If you are blogging, you should be doing it as a personal chronicle/diary or as a scrapbook - maybe a place to collect and file away information dear or important to you. Have fun blogging! While you may be able to make money blogging, it usually doesn't last... trust me, there is always something that will come along out of nowhere and topple your little moneymaker.

I am mystified by the millionaires who go on Kickstarter and raise bundles of cash. These folks really don't need other people's money for ne projects. They've gotten so self-centered and greedy thay cannot bear to spend a penny of their own.

The Internet used to be the Infobahn - the Information Highway. There were things you never heard of like CompuServe, Archie, ICQ, Telnet (or maybe I have kickstarted your memory)! The websites you visit today collect and share infomration with others; they know things about us, and serve content to different users differently depending on what they know. It's also different based on what browser or device you're using. Mobile versions of sites can be different to the point of being almost unrecognizable, while some sites dating back to the 1990s are still blocked for people not using early Netscape or early versions of Internet Explorer.

Which brings me to something that really rubs me the wrong way: arriving at a Google or facebook or other site, only to be greeted by a message to the effect that my browser is not supported or in some cases, not being allowed to "see" content because of my browser! Take back your net-life: use a SPOOFER to fool those websites into believing your browser is up to date!

How do websites know what device and browser you're using? Simple - your user agent. It is a single line of code that identifies what kind of computer and browser you're using.

Super User Agent 1.0.0 ::: this little firefox extension even works on 1.5! Written by Magd Almuntaser, it empowers anyone to switch the user agent of one's browser! I'm not providing a link, as this extension seems to move around site-to-site every few days. I know that the big dogs of the net want this thing squashed.

Rebellion is a good thing. Write that down.

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Monday, August 12, 2013


Hmmm... Just noticed that in my posts that have comments, "comments" is displaying "0" - wonder if anyone lese is experiencing this on blogger/blog*spot? If so, please leave comments! :)

#Music Monday - .The Jets - Make It Real (1988)

This is one of my all-time favorites - I remember listening to it back in the day at Hector's Basement over New York's HOT 103, from the top top top of the WTC! I picked this instead of other vids of the same tune because of the great sTeReo! This is +almost+ the way it sounded on the old boom box. I must say all the old casettes I still have taped of HOT 103 have the most astounding quality and stereo seperation of any I ever made direct off-radio.

++everything somehow sounded better on HOT 103 - the guitar licks on this recording are farther out in front on the 103 tape.

Thanks, HOT103 and thank-you, Jets!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Blogger vs. Blogger

"Why should Blogger X get so much attention, when the equally accomplished and perhaps overall better Blogger Y gets next to none?"

Let's examine this: most bloggers who are full of crap don't know it. They blindly press on, writing insane, inaccurate and even scraped content that earns them high rankings on search engines. They dispense bad or outdated advice. Most have enough online friends festering with equal degrees of idiocy and stupidity, (like the ones you see listed on blogs' "top commenters" widgets) they will somehow become undeservingly renowned, while at the same time, a superblogger at a nearby I.P. address who writes amazing incredible original content gets no link love, no SEO and no recognition.

Blogging friends, I am sure that you are able to accurately assess your own worth and gauge your achievements. Unfortunately, the digital world can be very unfair, often mystifyingly so.

A digital pal, a terrific blogger who was one of those "A-listers" back in the mid 2000s, is convinced there is a conspiracy excluding him from certain search engines and social networks. If only it were that simple. The fame he had back then may never come his way again, or it may spring up tomorrow. Just when you think you have grasped all of the internet rules and regulations, they change overnight.

Does the "number of posts" make any difference in how good or bad your blog's content is? Is it really important how many twitter followers or facebook fans you have? No.

I say to you aspiring bloggers, do not give up. Do not jump on every and any blogging craze that comes along. Be your own style, your own source of original content in words, thoughts and pictures. Just be YOU! If the accolades come your way, so be it. If they don't, don't worry about it!

#NSA Friday Dance Party

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The Frustrated Blogger

Mouseover and click on the image to enlarge!

Dukeo really sucks - no matter what type of comment I try to leave there, I never get past the dreaded "Error" pop-up box. Today I tried typing in the addy of my WordPress blog on the outside chance that Dukeo restricts blogger/blog*spot blogs from commenting. But, still a no-go!

I was attracted to the article in question by a tweet from the mighty dragonblogger "How To Ease the Pressure of Blogging" - my first reaction was "why on earth would you bother blogging if it gave you headaches?"

Pressure? Really? Why would anyone want to bother presenting a blog if they felt "pressured?" Totally the wrong approach to what should be a rewarding activity.

According to Dukeo "...any time goals enter into the picture, you’re going to have stress." WHAT? People can't have goals without subjecting themselves to stress?

R.C.Engs [Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility. Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987] says physical problems related to chronic stress include the lowering of the immune response, chronic muscle tension, and increased blood pressure. These problems can eventually lead to serious life-threatening illnesses such as heart attacks, kidney disease, and cancer.

If blogging is stressing you out, you shouldn't be blogging! Get off the computer and go do something productive with your life!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What A Difference A Google Update Makes

Google's most recent update rattled many cages. Fresh copy is now critically more important to Google than inbound links. Original content has taken center stage as one of the most important aspects of determining rank. I shrug my shoulders.

With many more than 6,000 posts under my belt here on blogger, maybe just a dozen or so continually attract traffic. Not bragging, I have written some amazingly creative and original articles. But you will likely never find them, unless your are searching via yahoo or Bing. My humble weblog has yo-yo'd from a PR7 to a PR0 and all points in between, no rhyme or reason I could see... it was under the old clunky slow-loading version with the ridiculous classic blog*spot template this blog achieved that PR7! So I am pretty convinced all that rank and the pomp that goes with whimsical Google updates becomes meaningless when you "zoom out" and take a snapshot from a larger point of view.

As far as "social proof" goes, who really cares about somebody else's Alexa Rank? Is it really important how many twitter followers or facebook fans I have? Does the "number of posts" make any difference in how good or bad my content is? [FYI: 6,277 published posts according to my blogger dashboard]

All of the product-hawking marketing-hearted blog "guru" people have gone gaga over the gmail changes... I can't tell you how many versions and variations of this "appeal" letter I have received since the switch:

"Gmail is rolling out some new features and they’re starting to automatically filter your email messages for you into different tabs. My messages will now be delivered to your "Promotions" tab, the third tab over in your inbox. Because this is not the default tab your Gmail will open to, you may miss messages you’re subscribed to.

Don't worry, there's a quick fix for this..." blah, blah, blah... you get the picture!

The other pre-fabricated email snaking its way through the system comes as a passioned appeal to remove a link:

"We are going through link pruning process, as we recently received a notice from Google that our website has been assessed a manual penalty after they detected unnatural links pointed to my website The only way considers placing my website back in their index is by getting these links removed."

In every instance of these emails, no one has bothered to check or correct the grammatical errors. Re-read the last sentence carefully. There is another odd order of words in the email which displays "placed almost on every blog page" - that should be more correctly phrased, "placed on almost every blog page." Whoever wrote this stuff obviously was not brought up in an English-speaking household. Peculiarly, there is a third junk email making the rounds "Interest in Adding to insertblognamehere's Content" - My advice is to simply ignore + delete all of these emails.

So this is the "new normal" for bloggers and websites? Those who once craved to link and be linked to now shudder in horror at the thought?

You may also want to take a look at my articles "Google Takes A Closer Look At Guest Blog Posts," "Is Tumblr The New Facebook?" and "The Danger of Bad Blogging Advice."

Monday, August 05, 2013

Is Tumblr the NEW Facebook? (the answer is NO)

REMEMBER! Every schmucky "blog guru" you bump into on the net wants to have just one thing: all the money in your bank account. Like the characters Jesus chased out of the temple, these people need to be sent packing! I'm not going to link to this rogue - but if you get an email or see a blog article or a guru beating a big Tumblr drum - head in the opposite direction!

The latest scam is this - they devised a super-schnazzy website/order-landing page - they just want $10. Very strange - all that over-the-top hoopla plus an obnoxious marketing website and all for ten bucks? Sounds FISHY! Something you wanna stay away from! ALSO: some of the testimonials read like fiction!

IT WOULDN'T BE THE FIRST TIME A 'GURU' TRIED TO FOOL PEOPLE! Stepfanie Cuevas mastered the art of the phony testimonial - then covered her tracks! The tumblr scamster contacts you via email:

You can get a piece of 20 Billion monthly visitors all by creating a free blog.
 !!!D'OH! Read the "fine print" - a PIECE - which could be as little as 2!

Not just any blog, but a “tumblog.”

Ever hear of it?

It’s what Tumblr users call their blogs that they create. (by the way tumblr is free and you don’t post articles like most blogs… instead you post pictures!)

 !!!BS ALERT!!! That is NOT what a Tumblr Blog is!!!!!!

This makes content creation EASY.

Here’s the kicker though…

I just found a way to get these visitors to sign up to a list and profit off of them. !!!YES you will be pissing off others as you spam them and take advantage of them!

Let's just stop right there! That's all for today's scam report!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Danger of Bad Blogging Advice

Bad advice is a blogger or webmaster's worst enemy! I still can't believe how many people out there understand so little about the ways things work in the digital world. Someone tweeted a link today to an article entitled "The Danger of Using Photo Images and What it Will Cost You - LogAllot -Blog Ideas & Advice for Beginners" - the piece could give false comfort. My advice: use your own photographs. Create your own images. Make drawings, do collages. Be original as much as possible, and if you do need to use an image, ask for permission or give credit if the blog or website displays a Creative Commons badge (click through and read the terms for that particular site.)

Sure, thou shalt not steal content. Great. But overlooks some essential information. And if you want to see what happens to REAL PEOPLE - read the "comments" folks left for the author of the article!

Another site has some equally perplexing advice: "Use Infographics To Boost Your Credibility And Traffic" WHAT? Obviously, "Posner Lehner Group" hasn't heard of Google's Matt Cutts!

But I digress:

Two very important points:

(1) Getty Images will claim copyrights to anything. They will steal YOUR original material and then file suit against you. They do it all the time: like many women who are sexually abused are ashamed to report it, many victims of Getty are led to believe they did something wrong: "And a surprising number of blog comments offered what could best be described as the rape apologist defence: by placing his images on a social network Morel was "asking for it", and as such deserves little sympathy."

(2) You can be a "content thief" and "copyright violator" without having done either! It happened to me!

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